Christian 08

Rev. Dwight E. Bailey

January 28, 1952 ~ September 17, 2020 (age 68)


Celebrating the Legacy of

Rev. Dwight Elton Bailey

Dwight Elton Bailey was born on January 28, 1952 to Henry and Mary (Powell) Bailey in Wilson, North Carolina. He grew up in the Pentecostal Church and became a Christian while in elementary school. He graduated from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in 1973 with majors in Religion and Philosophy.  While there, he became intrigued with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the openness and welcome he found.  Intending to pursue further study in philosophy, Dwight explored continuing his education at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University.  It was at Brite that he grew to love the Church and its mission to reach each generation and accepted his call to ministry.  Completing his seminary work, he was ordained in the Southwest Region of the Christian Church (DOC) at Greenville Avenue Christian Church in Dallas, TX on July 25, 1976.  Rev. Bailey lived a life of commitment to God’s work in and outside of the church.  He received further training at Xavier University Seminary in Cincinnati, OH focusing on teaching adults. Over the last four and a half decades, Rev. Bailey gave his life to serve for the building of the Kingdom. After an extended illness, God called His servant home to rest on Thursday morning, September 17, 2020.

Ministering through the local, Regional, and General expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, Rev. Bailey’s was able to nurture God’s people through campus ministries, pastoral and interim congregational ministry, the Disciples Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation mission initiative, and ecumenical ministries. Rev. Bailey served congregations throughout Texas, Kansas, and Illinois. He also served at Ballard Community College in Lawrence, Kansas from 1977 to 1978, and Campus Ministry from 1985-1990 at United Ministries Higher Education in Austin, Texas (The University of Texas/Huston-Tillotson College Minority Ministry) and United Campus Minister for Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University, 1979-1984.

Rev. Bailey served as Associate Regional Minister, Chicago Disciple Union, and Christian Church in Illinois/Wisconsin from 1991-2000 in a pastoral oversight role for the Chicago, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin churches.  In 2000, he resigned from his position in Illinois/Wisconsin and moved back to Wilson, NC to care for his ailing mother.  After his mother’s death, Rev. Bailey returned to his home in River Forest (Chicago suburb) and became Co-Pastor at the Austin Boulevard Christian Church in Oak Park, IL, and later as Pastor until the congregation closed in December 2011. He did interim ministry at First Christian, Princeton, IL and Grace Community Church, Aurora, IL. In both places his presence brought healing and encouragement. He kindly gave each permission to change and to relate to their communities in transforming ways.

“Dwight,” as so many called him, worked well with a diversity of people. God blessed him with a dose of both common sense and wisdom. Teaching came natural to him, and he was able to communicate knowledge and ideas to groups of people and at the same time, challenge them to work together in love. One of Dwight’s passions was his work on the denominational Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Mission Initiative, both on staff and later as the Christian Church in Illinois/Wisconsin’s Committee Co-Chair, serving alongside Martha Herrin.  Together, they created a model program and did significant education with the Regions’ boards and congregations.  In 2012, Dwight began his work as a Trainer for Reconciliation Ministries in the Office of the General Minister and President. 

Rev. Bailey was a BIG man - Chicago Bears middle lineman BIG, intimidating!  However, when talking with him you quickly realized he was warm and loveable, and he gave you his full attention, the example of a faithful and compassionate minister.  He was encouraging - always looking for positives in the present and positive possibilities for the future.  He worked diligently to be reconciled with every person, and to bring reconciliation among persons and groups in conflict and had a way of taking the anxiety and confusion out of any setting.  He was extremely comfortable in racial discussions, often using stories and illustrations to bring understanding, always looking for ways to plant seeds for beneficial change.  

Rev. Bailey retired in 2017 and moved to Shreveport, LA.  He joined Kings Highway Christian Church, where he served as a bible study teacher, pulpit supply preacher, board member, and search team member. He joined the Great River Region’s Regional Commission on Ministry (RCOM), where he began to mentor candidates for Commission and Ordained Ministry. The impact of his trailblazing ministry will be known and experienced as grace, personal relationships, mentorship, dignity, and integrity.

Preceding Rev. Bailey in death are his parents, Henry and Mary (Powell) Bailey, his sister LaFerne Bailey, and brothers Jimmie and Wallace Bailey (Phyllis). He is survived by his cousins: Jean Powell, Shirley Singleton, Robert Powell, and Jasper Powell; his sister-in-law, Phyllis Bailey; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.  The congregation of Kings Highway Christian Church, and indeed a cloud of witnesses from around the country were also family to him. His life truly had an impact for good on everyone he met, and his church, indeed our world, is diminished by his passing.

A memorial service for Rev. Bailey will be held at Kings Highway Christian Church on Saturday, September 26th at 10:00 a.m. CDT. The service will be livestreamed – follow the link on the church’s website:    Additionally, the service will be available for viewing later in the day, also on the website.

Donations and memorials may be sent on behalf of the Dwight E. Bailey Trust Fund to Kings Highway Christian Church, 806 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA  71104-4296.

Please keep the Bailey Family lifted in your prayers.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Dwight E. Bailey, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 26, 2020

10:00 AM
Kings Highway Christian Church
806 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71104

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